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Truck company should pay more tax than railways company



 
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Truck company should pay more tax than railways company #1 (permalink) Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:26 am   Truck company should pay more tax than railways company
 

“While trucking companies that deliver goods pay only portion of highway maintenance costs and no property tax on the highways they use, railways spend billions per year maintaining and upgrading their facilities. The government should lower the railroad companies’ property taxes, since sending goods by rail is clearly a more appropriate mode of ground transportation than highway shipping. For one thing, trains consume only a third of the fuel a truck would use to carry the same road, making them a more cost-effective and environmentally sound mode of transport. Furthermore, since rail lines already exist, increases in rail traffic would not require building new lines at the expense of taxpaying citizens.”
Discuss how well reasoned … etc.

In the editorial above, the author concludes trucking companies pay only highway maintenance cost but not property tax. Unlike railways, they have to pay billions per year for maintaining and upgrading their facilities. The author argues that railways consume less fuel and they are appropriate mode of shipping. Thus the government should reduce the property taxes paid by railways. However, this premise is weak because it lacks of supporting reasons.
First of all, while rail lines are used only by trains, roads are used by several vehicles. It is not limited to trucks, private cars and public buses also use road. Costs arise from maintain and upgrade facilities should share among users. So it is fair enough to let the railways pay for property taxes.
Secondly, the author fails to provide actual figure of how much the government should lower the property taxes and the actual cost for maintenance rail lines. Hence we can compare the actual cost that the railways should pay for the facilities they use.
Thirdly, the author erroneously presumes that railways is an appropriate transportation mode of ground transport because they are more cost-effective and environmentally sound. But in reality, it depends on type of goods to judge whether train is suitable or not. For example, fresh fruits which is consider as perishable goods need a short time transportation and temperature control. To this extent, we should consider the reefer truck mode of transport to deliver fresh fruits.
In conclusion, the conclusion of the editorial above to lower the property taxes paid by the railways is weak because it fails to support the actual cost of maintenance compare to amount paid by the railways and several aforementioned wrong assumption. If the author compares each transportation mode with more concise information such as the ratio of usage and the cost each mode pay, so that we can fully evaluated this editorial.

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Roytor
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Joined: 31 Jan 2013
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